A Close Look at How Chinese Consumers Spend Their Money on Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival in China, is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year holiday is a time when Chinese citizens reunite with their family and usually a time when they spend.
This year, Chinese nationals have spent most of their money on travelling, dining out and entertainment. Sales in catering and retail industry jumped 10.2 percent to about 926 billion yuan ($146 billion) during the Chinese New Year holiday from Feb. 15 to 21, compared with last year’s Spring Festival week, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
The consumption trends of traditional Chinese New Year have been seen to improve this year. Besides festival gifts, jewelry, accessories and clothing, organic vegetables, fresh fruit and healthcare products were amongst this years popular shopping items.
In addition, smart home devices such as floor-sweeping robots and dishwashers were particularly popular this year.
Now let’s have a close look at these three sectors: travelling, dinning out and entertainment, which have gained increasing popularity among the Chinese during the Spring Festival.
Chinese consumers tend to travel more than they used to do during the Spring Festival. According to the China National Tourism Administration, there were 386 million visitors during the Spring Festival holiday, which has increased by 12.1%. Similarly, spending on traveling has increased 12.6%, reaching 475 billion this year.
In addition, travelling abroad is also becoming an increasingly popular choice: Chinese tourists are reported to have been to 68 countries and 730 cities during Spring Festival holidays, with South-eastern countries being the most popular destination.
Interestingly, the South Pole is reported to be the most expensive travelling destination for Chinese, with each Chinese traveller spending on average over 1.6 million yuan.
According to the data, the trade volume of catering has increased over 40% during the Spring Festival week, with medium and high-end catering services growing rapidly.
Family reunion dinners before the Chinese New Year have become extremely popular: the booking rate of some popular restaurants has reached 95% and above.
Two new trends that are worth noting are that firstly, takeaway is a popular choice for reunion dinners. Some restaurants in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong offered food delivery for reunion dinners and received extremely positive feedback.
In addition, some restaurants even send their chefs to customers’ houses and offer a private menu for them. Only limited restaurants offered this “door-to-door” service but they all gained huge popularity.
Entertainment plays a more and more significant role in the Spring Festival holiday. According to the data, the consumption of entertainment during the Spring Festival has increased 47%, with movie consumption surging by 57%.
In addition, according to data offered by MaoYan Movie, the biggest online movie ticket platform in China, consumers have spent over 5.7 million on movie tickets in China, which has amazingly increased by 71% compared with last year. The first and second days of the Chinese New Year were identified as the peak period, with almost all movie tickets selling out.
Wen Bin, a researcher at China Minsheng Banking Corp in Beijing explained that better infrastructure in recent years such as bullet trains have offered young people better access to entertainment.
Generally speaking, the spending data indicates China’s long-term shift toward a consumption-led economy, and away from old-style investment and export-driven growth. Furthermore, China’s strong spending power will continually contribute not only to domestic but also global demand.